You could quite literally close your eyes, spin a map of Europe around, land on a city at random, and you'd almost certainly have a great time regardless of the destination. With that being said, if you want a guaranteed holiday to remember, Budapest is the place to be.
It's quite a stereotypical choice for European city getaways these days, but that isn't just by chance. Ever since the Hungarians arrived way back in the 9th century, it has gradually been built up as a place of solitude and strength. In the modern day, that has never been more accurate.
10 Buda Castle
Having been first built way back in 1265, with more recent additions coming nearly 500 years later, it’s safe to say that Buda Castle is an ever-present member of the skyline in the Hungarian city.
That’s arguably one of the best things about Budapest: it’s full of architecture from back in the day that seems to have a real back story and soul, as opposed to corporate entities flying high in the sky. It shines in the spotlight and immediately takes your mind to the royalty background associated with the country.
9 Fisherman’s Bastion
There’s something to be said for buildings that are quite literally just utterly breathtaking, and that’s the kind of category you’ve got to put Fisherman’s Bastion in. This place gives you perfect views of the rest of the city and serves as Budapest’s equivalent to Rockefeller Center in a lot of ways.
The superb design makes the trek up to the entrance more than worth it, with the Roman-style lookout terraces taking you all the way back to a time when selfies and Instagram were non-existent. It’s like a utopia all on its own.
8 Great Transport Connections
Courtesy of being pretty centrally located within Europe, Budapest serves as a great link for people who want to visit other European cities, towns and destinations with relative ease. Vienna, Bratislava, Prague and Zagreb are four of the many locations that can be reached without all too much hassle, and it helps that the transport around the city is really easy to navigate.
Plus, it’s not unheard of to just walk everywhere, which is an option that most locals tend to take up – because let’s face it, it’s just more practical.
7 Gorgeous Parks
Being situated in a concrete jungle isn’t the worst thing in the world, contrary to what many humanitarians will lead you to believe, but even we have to admit that getting away from the hustle and bustle and immersing yourself in nature can be really soothing.
If you also happen to fall into this category, then visiting one of Budapest’s many underrated parks would be a pretty good route to go down. They’re arguably not as well advertised as many of the city’s other amenities, but you should embrace them nonetheless.
6 Christmas Haven
The Christmas markets aren’t really what Budapest is known for but that doesn’t matter. Whenever the festive period comes around they are consistently able to make it their own, allowing the lights, the atmosphere, the music, the food and so much more to completely and utterly take over.
Getting swept up in the history of the city is one thing, but in many ways, it doesn’t matter where you are: as long as you’re feeling the Christmas cheer, there’s fun to be had. Budapest embraces that and has done for a long time now.
5 Gozsdu Udvar
Budapest is renowned for having a great nightlife, and we can confirm that is absolutely the case. Gozsdu-udvar is a strip of sorts that comprises a series of different buildings in the 7th district. It’s known for being in the heart of the Jewish Quarter, and it features some remarkable bars, restaurants, galleries and shops that are bound to keep you occupied.
We aren’t exaggerating when we say that if you arrived at midday, there’s a very good chance you could be situated on the very same stretch all the way through until midnight.
4 Chain Bridge
The Chain Bridge combines the two areas of Buda and Pest, and no, we’re not just making that up for comedic effect – it’s an actual thing, and it’s pretty impressive. It is suspended across the River Danube and makes for one hell of a visual with thousands of tourists and locals alike traveling across it each and every single day.
It’s considered to be a stunning feat when it comes to architecture, often being compared to the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. Without it, the city would look very different.
3 Heroes’ Square
Hősök tere, also known as Heroes’ Square, is an incredibly powerful space located in the heart of Budapest. It serves as a reminder of the many great Hungarian leaders that have been and gone in the country over the years, and that kind of call-back to the past is something we can get on board with.
Plus, when you’re done admiring the square, there’s a great ice rink around the corner followed by a whole string of local delights that make up this fantastic district. There’s the zoo, too, but the Botanical Garden is a lot more fun.
2 The Dive Bars
Dive bars may not sound like a whole lot of fun, but trust us when we say that they can completely change your experience in any given city. In addition to everything being really cheap and cheerful, dive bars are almost always designed in a unique and fascinating way that allows them to give off their own personal vibe to the punters.
Instead of it being a negative connotation, though, you’ll often find many of the best establishments hold this nickname – which kind of says a lot about our modern day society.
P.S: Try out Szimpla Kert.
1 Széchenyi Thermal Bath
The baths in Budapest are legendary but this one really does stand out above the rest. It’s the kind of novelty attraction that is bound to draw in a whole host of tourists regardless of what time of year it is, and rightly so.
We would say that if you are particularly claustrophobic then the indoor baths may not be the right choice for you (unless you opt for the beer bath), but the outdoor selection is great fun and makes you feel as if you’re really at home in this remarkable city.